Press Conference held on Pope County sheriff deputy fatality (VIDEO)
April 13, 2023
Video was posted on this web article on Sunday night.
The Pope County Sheriff's office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) held a joint press conference on Sunday, April 16 in Glenwood to provide the public an update on the shooting that took place in Cyrus on Saturday, April 15. With three law enforcement officers responding to a domestic assault call in Cyrus, an armed man began shooting. In a tragic outcome, Pope County Deputy Joshua Owen was fatally shot by the perpetrator.
A visibly distraught Pope County Sheriff Tim Riley began the press conference by providing a statement on behalf of his department, "Yesterday, April 15, Pope County law enforcement lost a brother."
"Our sympathies and love go out to Officer Josh Owen's family and to the families of other the officers involved."
"To our Glacial Ridge Health System staff and EMTs and to our other public safety officers, our departments owe you a huge debt of gratitude."
"Officer Joshua Owen had a heart as big as his stature. He leaves behind a wife and a son. He deeply loved his family, his brotherhood and his community. Deputy Owen served the Pope County Sheriff's department for nearly 12 years and also served his country in the U.S. military."
"At this time, we're asking that everyone respect the privacy of his family and all others involved."
"We're unable to speak further on the active investigation. All follow-up questions are to be directed to the BCA."
Owen had recently earned a Distinguished Service award in March from his response to a fire in Glenwood on November 25, 2022 during which he and another officer charged into a burning home to save an individual who was trapped inside, which saved the man's life.
Also during his years of service, Deputy Owen worked with the K-9 officer Karma.
Deputy superintendent of investigations Scott Mueller with the BCA then provided additional details on the shooting and investigation.
"The BCA offers our deepest condolences to the Owens family and the families of the other officers involved. The investigation is still in the very early stages, and we will continue to update the public and offer the fullest transparency we are able to on this incident in Cyrus."
"At approximately 7:30 p.m. last night, two Pope County deputies and a Starbuck police officer responded to a domestic assault call at an apartment on the 400 block of Stroman Street in the city of Cyrus. When they got there, they entered the home, and after some initial investigation, they informed a man in the home that he was under arrest for domestic assault. The man drew a firearm and immediately began shooting at officers. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire, the man and all three officers were struck. Life-saving efforts were given to Deputy Owen and the male subject, and the male subject died at the scene. Deputy Owen was transported to Glacial Ridge hospital, where he later died. The other deputy and officer are expected to be okay."
"The BCA recovered a handgun that was located near the male subject along with numerous cartridge cases plus other evidence. All officers present were wearing body-worn cameras which recorded video during this incident that will be released at the appropriate time."
"The other male who was deceased will be identified when the medical examiner has officially identified him."
"In 2023, we've had seven police officers shot at in the line of duty in Minnesota. This is an alarming trend that needs to stop. Now."
"Again, our thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Owen and the family he leaves behind during this difficult time."
While answering a question on the male subject who was to be placed under arrest, Superintendent Mueller stated that the man had lived in Minnesota for less than a year. It was not revealed whether or not he was a current resident of Cyrus.
Asked about the atmosphere of violence that police officers face today, Superintendent Mueller replied, "These officers put on a badge every day committed to going out into the public to protect the citizens of Minnesota while putting their life on the line to that end. They will not stop doing that, no matter what they face."